If you have recently started taking Ozempic®or Wegovy® (semaglutide), a once-weekly prescription medication, you may be wondering what type of semaglutide diet plan you should follow. Using a diet plan can help make sure that you stay on track while using your new weight loss tool.
1. WHAT IS SEMAGLUTIDE?
Semaglutide, sold under the brand name Ozempic, is FDA-approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and Wegovy, also, semaglutide is FDA-approved for weight loss.
2. HOW DOES SEMAGLUTIDE WORK?
Your body naturally produces an appetite hormone known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) that helps to regulate your hunger. Specifically, Semaglutide is a type of drug called a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. Wegovy is the first medication in the GLP-1 receptor agonist drug class. Semaglutide works like GLP-1 by regulating your appetite, which can lead to eating fewer calories and losing weight.
Disclaimer: This should not be taken as medical advice. This is my opinion as a registered dietitian nutritionist.
3. WHAT IS THE BEST SEMAGLUTIDE DIET PLAN?
The “best” diet plan is one you can follow. Indeed, considerable research shows that diets don’t work. But, sticking with a reduced-calorie meal plan can be easier when you have a tool like semaglutide in your toolbox. The key is to use the tool to help create new healthful habits that lead to long-lasting lifestyle changes. We will talk more about how to build a healthy plate shortly.
3.1 HOW MANY CALORIES DO I NEED?
Caloric needs can be analyzed using a machine called an indirect calorimeter machine. Presently, access to a machine like this is limited due to cost and time so registered dietitians often use equations like the Harris-Benedict Equation or Mifflin St. Jeor equation to estimate your caloric needs based on height, weight, age, and activity level.
4. WHAT SHOULD I EAT WHILE TAKING SEMAGLUTIDE?
4.1 PROTEIN FIRST
While on semaglutide, your appetite will be lower, YAY! However, because of your decreased appetite, the quality of food that you eat is that much more important. I suggest eating protein first because the body cannot store amino acids, you need to replenish them regularly. After protein, adding whole foods like non-starchy vegetables will help round out your meals.
Proteins are made up of a combination of molecules called amino acids — your body needs 20 different amino acids to function correctly. It can produce 11 of them, but it must get the final nine — called essential amino acids — from the protein you eat.
4.2 HOW MUCH PROTEIN DO I NEED ON A MOUNJARO DIET?
The amount of protein to eat at each meal isn’t the same for everyone. In general, a good general rule of thumb is to aim for about 25 to 30 grams per meal and at least 8-10 grams per snack. Here is a list of high-protein snacks for some ideas. Visit a registered dietitian to determine your individual protein needs.
4.3 HOW CAN I EAT MORE PROTEIN?
A healthy and balanced diet typically provides all the amino acids your body needs, that is to say, eating protein with every meal and snack will likely allow you to meet protein goals as part of a semaglutide diet plan. Complete proteins — which contain all nine essential amino acids in equal amounts — provide the most bang for your buck.
Complete proteins contain all nine essential amino acids. To summarize, the following foods contain complete proteins:
If you're a vegetarian or vegan, or if you limit the amount of animal products you consume, you can combine incomplete, plant-based proteins to meet your body's needs. Combinations include:
- Nuts or seeds with whole grains (peanut butter on whole wheat toast)
- Whole grains with beans (beans and rice; hummus and pita bread; bean-based chili and crackers; refried beans and tortillas)
- Beans with nuts or seeds (salad with chickpeas and sunflower seeds)
Look for easy ways to add or substitute complete proteins into what you already eat. Swap rice for quinoa, include edamame in salads, or add chia seeds or Greek yogurt to smoothies.
5. SEMAGLUTIDE DIET PLAN SUPPORT
If you are looking for support and answers to your questions and would like access to a registered dietitian, join our private Facebook group at Wegovy / Ozempic Meal Plans and Recipes.
If you would like more information about semaglutide, check out our Store.